Syntax + DictionConceptual Art Exhibition
Independent Vietnamese visual artists, writers, designers and animators transformed mundane objects unique to Saigon into contemporary, conceptual artworks for San Art’s most recent exhibition -Syntax + Diction. The show centers around dã chiến, a Vietnamese phrase that loosely translated, but without a true English definition, means battlefield.
In Syntax + Diction it has been interpreted as a battle of aesthetics – as seen on Saigon’s congested streets and apparent in the show’s quirky installations that incorporate various media endemic to Vietnam including rubber, wiring, flags and a plastic Buddha. Artists were required to find inspiration from a narrative written by the exhibition’s curator - artist-cum-writer Christopher Myers, who hails from Brooklyn, New York.
“There are tiny chiến's fought in tyre repair shops marking every corner, and in the flags draped, superhero-style, over shirtless teenagers speeding down Le Loi celebrating Vietnam's victory over Singapore in football,” Myer’s wrote. Featured independent artists - Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran, Dinh Q. Le, Ha Do, Tran Minh Duc, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, Nguyen Duc Thinh, and Tammy Nguyen – all interpreted Myer’s words differently, making the statement entirely their own.
Though the entire show can be seen in just 10 minutes, it is well worth taking the time to understand each artist’s personal story which is conveyed through their creations – a collection of everyday materials that have undergone a transformation.
Dinh Q Le - ‘The Infrastructure of Nationalism’ from ‘Signs and Signals from the Periphery’ series 2009 - Ready-made mixed media installation: metal, wood, flags.
‘The Infrastructure of Nationalism’
‘Untitled Altar Box’ 2010 - by Tammy Nguyen - Installation: Black thread, silk, wood
Duc Minh Tran - ‘Normal day No.1 (a walk in Spring)’ 2010 - Normal day No.2 (some day in New York)’ 2010 - Mixed media: calendar print, digital off-set.
Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran - ‘Kann ich Kant? - Kant, kann ich?’ 2010 - Mixed media: Type C photographs, book.
Ha Do - ‘Everything is Illuminated’ 2010 - Installation: Wooden clothes hanger, wooden chair, light bulb, shirt, digital photographs.
‘Everything is Illuminated’
Sugar-coated Karma 2010 - Tuan Andrew Nguyen - Installation: Plastic Buddha, acrylic nail paint
Sugar-coated Karma 2010
Thinh Duc Nguyen - ‘Roi Nui (Tangled)’ 2010 - Installation: Rubber, electrical wiring
Exhibition Dates: March 4th - April 1st 2010
@ San Art Gallery 3 Me Linh, District Binh Thanh
Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
For more information log onto San Art's Website
Words: Chi Mai